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So lucky to live in Laguna


Sometimes I think that I am the luckiest person in the world. Not

only do I live in Laguna Beach, but I also have a job writing about

the city and the people who live here. When I’m not writing about


locals, I get to write about things happening in the community or

people affecting Laguna Beach.

Peeking into an artist’s mind or talking to someone producing a

local play, or visiting a classroom and sitting in on what the


children are learning all add up to life experiences that I will

never forget. It gives me an education every day that is priceless.

One of the coolest things is to be able to meet people, talk to them

and get a chance to gain a little perspective through their


Recently I had an opportunity to have a phone interview with Jane

Goodall, while she was in London. The experience was very surreal to

say the least. I had the opportunity to speak with Goodall because


she is making her first appearance in Laguna Beach on Sept. 18.

Goodall is coming to the Festival of Arts that evening for a benefit

for The Cougar Fund and the Jane Goodall Institute. There will be a

presentation, silent auction and wildlife exhibits as well as a VIP


Goodall recently became part of the board of directors for The

Cougar Fund after learning through her longtime friend,

world-renowned wildlife photographer Thomas D. Mangelsen, that they


were being killed throughout the U.S. and that their population was

being seriously effected. Mangelsen, who will also be at the benefit,

and local Cara Shea Blessley started The Cougar Fund. Together they

made a documentary and published a book about the cougar and its


The benefit will be 7:30 to 9 p.m. Sept. 18 at the Festival of

Arts, 650 Laguna Canyon Road. Tickets range in price from $50 to $300

and can be purchased at or 1-800-225-2277.

It’s an incredible story and an amazing cause. I was fortunate to

hear about it through Blessley’s, Mangelsen’s and Goodall’s

perspective. I look forward to sharing my experience of talking with

Goodall in my next column. In the meantime, there are a lot of Laguna

Beach happenings this weekend to write about.

Surf Culture music and film

This Sunday the Music in the Park Concert Series features the surf

band Ho Dads, who will be playing in conjunction with Laguna Art

Museum’s ongoing exhibit and surf series Surf Culture. The Ho Dads

are a favorite at the Music in the Park concerts and are known in the

area for their surf inspired music. The concert series is presented

by the Laguna Beach Arts Commission and Music in the Park Inc. Music

in the park is from 5 to 7 p.m. at Bluebird Canyon Park, at Bluebird

Canyon Drive and Cress Street.

Information: 497-0716.

On Thursday the Laguna Art Museum will presents the surf movie

“Loose Change.” The movie looks at the question, “What would a pro

surfer be doing if he didn’t surf?” It’s filled with surfing segments

following Rob Machado who plays the surf slacker traveling around

looking for work. On his journey he meets up with the best surfers of

today and their non-surfing counterparts. Taylor Steele directs the


Surfer magazine called those featured, “the most progressive and

stylish surfers on earth.” The museum’s surf film series will be

shown at Laguna South Coast Cinema at 162 S. Coast Highway, one block

south of Broadway. All films are at 7 p.m. on Thursday evenings and

tickets are $10.

Laguna Art Museum is at 307 Cliff Drive. Information: 494-6531.

Art Festivals nearing an end

Don’t forget that we are nearing the end of our very beloved art

festivals and there’s plenty going on at all of them everyday and


The Festival of Arts has concerts, exhibits, art classes and

docent lead tours among the exhibiting artists. There is so much to

see and do. The festival is at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. Laguna Beach.

Residents are free with identification every day. Information:

494-1145. Sawdust Festival is on its final leg of the season too.

This art show features Laguna Beach artists only. Plus the Sawdust

has music galore, entertainment and art classes. The Sawdust Art

Festival is at 935 Laguna Canyon Road. Information: 494-3030.

* SUZIE HARRISON is a reporter for the Laguna Beach Coastline

Pilot. She may be reached at 494-4321.